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Kids. Teens. What do they have in common? They hate math. They have trouble in math. They cannot process key arithmetic and algebraic concepts. For them, MATH IS NOT FUN!

So I ask you, Math Nerds, Programmers, Engineers, Math Teachers, and other Math Lovers:

  • How can we get kids to learn math in this technology-centered world?
  • How do we get kids interested in ze mathz?
  • How can we make math fun?
  • How do we teach fundamental algebraic concepts to the person who's
    been sitting in that third-row, second-column seat for three years?
  • How?

I know what you're thinking, just send them off to KhanAcademy. That may appeal to you, me, a self-learner, or some really anxious math-illiterate valedvictorian, but to somebody struggling in math or algebra? Most likely, no.

So how do we make math sexy? How do we attract kids and teens to math? How do we teach fundamental algebraic concepts to the math-illiterate? KhanAcademy and other math websites/programs are either 1) too costly, 2) too plain, 3) too audienced towards someone who has some desire to learn as opposed to math-illiterates, or 4) all of the above.

I have personally seen that anything can be turned into a game and made fun through competition and peer-to-peer activities. I'm talking about Words With Friends and The Wiki Game. Browsing wikipedia to search for something without searching for it? Spelling words on a board horizontally and diagonally? *gasp! The whole idea is EXTREMELY BORING! I propose that SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY, we can do the same thing with algebraic concepts. My only issue is how?

I KNOW IT CAN BE DONE!!!

How do we get people to come home and log on to (COOL MATH GAME NAME HERE).com and learn math FOR FUN during their FREE TIME? How do we make math cool? How do we get math-learning to be what 1/3 of a class is distracted with playing on their phones (as they're going to do anyway), instead of WWF, Zenonia, Fun Run, etc?

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Maybe we should do it nude. –  Quinn Culver Dec 26 '12 at 3:34
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This is quite off-topic. –  Mariano Suárez-Alvarez Dec 26 '12 at 3:35
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Voting to close this as non-constructive. –  user17762 Dec 26 '12 at 3:43
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As an educator I have great distaste for the term "math-illiterate." –  treble Dec 26 '12 at 3:46
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Perhaps we can make math cool and hip by lecturing with our hats jauntily askew. –  Trevor Wilson Dec 26 '12 at 4:14
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closed as not constructive by Sasha, Marvis, Qiaochu Yuan, MJD, Will Jagy Dec 26 '12 at 3:57

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1 Answer

I don't care? Why does math have to be "made" fun? If someone doesn't like math then let them go and not like math, no point in trying to sugercoat it in superfuntime sauce so it slides down their throat easier. Let people play their phone games and live their lives without being hounded by a rabid math fanatic.

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I'm not trying to get everyone to like math, nor to learn math. If they are too stuck in a fantasy to get an education, then let them play their phone games. There's a place for those kinds of people. It's called the-fast-food-and-anything-else-that-gets-low-pay-and-keeps-our-economy-in-a-dep‌​ression-industry. I need people taking my order and cleaning up after me. It's just that as an actual high school student I see people really struggling with basic algebraic concepts. They, half of everyone, just can't visualize it or don't feel like doing the work because they have little to no interest –  chriswins2much Dec 26 '12 at 3:59
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I think the best way to make it possible for those who are capable of liking math to like math is (1) to tell the truth about math; and (2) to stop trying to force people to learn it when they don't want to, which inevitably leads to lying about the subject. –  Michael Hardy Dec 26 '12 at 5:18
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@chriswins2much I do math in my free time, for fun, without it being a videogame. A lot of people do. Stop acting like math is some crucial skill that 'kids need to learn' and maybe they can actually have fun doing it. And please, stop thinking that knowing math makes you better than people who wait tables. It's disgusting. –  Alexander Gruber Dec 26 '12 at 10:26
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